Titusville, Pennsylvania is dubbed “The Birthplace of the Oil Industry.”
It is a city situated in the far eastern part of Crawford County, incorporated as a borough in 1847.
The discovery of oil in the region in 1859 brought enormous industrial development and an increase in its population.
Titusville is filled with historical landmarks, from the restored home of journalist and writer Ida Tarbell to the ground-breaking Drake Well, the site of the first successfully commercialized oil well in the world.
Immerse yourself in the origins of the modern oil industry, savor the breathtaking vistas of the region, enjoy camping and hiking opportunities, and embark on a self-guided excursion to explore the city at your own pace.
Have an amazing experience in this Northwestern Pennsylvania city with this list of the best things to do in Titusville, Pennsylvania:
Explore the Drake Well Museum and Park
The Drake Well Museum and Park on Museum Lane commemorates the history of the oil industry in Pennsylvania and its development into a global business.
The focal point of the park’s outdoor exhibits is the replica of the derrick and engine house by Edwin L. Drake.
Built in 1945, this replica encloses the famous “Drake Well,” the first commercial oil well in the world, where Drake drilled oil in 1859.
The structure also features working models of the steam engine and wood-fired boiler that Drake used until 1861 in drilling and pumping oil from the well.
The Drake Well Museum and Park’s 240-acre grounds also include a 12,000-square-foot indoor exhibit, a working oil field machinery, and the biggest collection of artifacts and archives related to the development of the modern oil industry.
In addition to interactive and experimental indoor and outdoor learning venues, visitors can also enjoy paved bike trails, hiking trails, modern picnic areas, and more.
Spend the Night at the Caboose Motel
Come and spend the night (or more) at The Caboose Motel for an enjoyable and interesting experience in Titusville!
The Caboose Motel is situated on stationary railroad tracks, just a block away from downtown and five minutes from the well-known Drake Well Museum and Park and the Oil Creek State Park recreational paved trail.
All 21 caboose cars have their own television, heat and air conditioning system, telephone, restroom, and shower.
Three cabooses offer wheelchair ramps, while two cabooses are pet-friendly.
Deck chairs are available so you can unwind during the night after a day of exploration around the Oil Region.
With its strategic location and unique setting, a night’s stay or longer at the Caboose Motel is a sure value for money.
Get Lost in a Book at the Benson Memorial Library
The Benson Memorial Library, situated in the heart of Titusville, has played a distinctive and significant role in the area’s quality of life since 1904.
The Benson Memorial Library provides a wide array of resources and services for the local community.
It offers access to a collection of books, audiobooks, magazines, DVDs, games, puzzles, public computers, Wi-Fi, and other technology.
For research, they have the Benson Collection, a local archive featuring textbooks, maps, and publications related to the region and the oil industry, as well as full-back issues of the newspaper publication Titusville Herald dating as early as 1865.
In order to promote the arts, literature, and continuous learning, the Benson Memorial Library organizes a variety of weekly activities for all ages that are free to the general public.
Whether you read for pleasure or need to conduct research on a particular topic, the Benson Memorial Library on North Franklin Street is a safe place to socialize, work, and unwind.
Explore the City through the Historic Titusville Walking Tour
The Historic Titusville Walking Tour is a 2.3-mile tour passing by over 20 local historic structures, including homes, businesses, and churches.
Here, you’ll find some of the treasures and memorabilia from the early years of the oil industry.
The city’s connection to oil is highlighted through the architectural diversity of the area as well as the stories of its early citizens.
A few historic locations included in this tour are the Western New York & Pennsylvania Railway Station, the Titusville Oil Exchange, the William Abbott Home, and the Corinthian Hall.
Brochures for walking tours are available from the local Chamber of Commerce.
Enjoy Tea at the Ida Tarbell House
The Ida Tarbell House, built in 1870, is a two-story Italianate architecture house and is the childhood home of Ida Minerva Tarbell, a prominent female journalist in her time.
Born in Amity, Pennsylvania, Ida Tarbell is arguably the most well-known female investigative journalist in American history.
At 13 years old, Tarbell and her family first relocated to Rouseville in 1860 and then to Titusville 10 years later, where they remained until 1876.
The Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry and Tourism currently owns and manages the Ida Tarbell House.
The house, restored to its 1870 external and 1895 internal features, conveys the Tarbell family’s history and is an example of successful heritage preservation.
The Tarbell House’s first floor functions as a house museum and is accessible for tours by appointment, public teas, and rentals for special events.
The second floor serves as a private apartment and is consequently beyond limits to the general public.
Ida Tarbell House is on East Main Street.
Take a Train Ride at the Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad
The Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad is a railroad attraction that travels from Titusville to Rynd Farm in Pennsylvania, operated by the Oil Creek and Titusville Lines, which is also the line’s freight carrier.
The three-hour round trip takes visitors through the gorgeous Oil Creek State Park, where the history of the oil industry began.
Enter the Railway Post Office Car, the only remaining railroad post office operating in the country!
Take a luxurious ride on the Wabash, their First Class car equipped with comfortable seats and air conditioning; First Class seats are limited and tend to sell out, so buy your tickets in advance.
With Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad, you’ll enjoy the thrill of train travel and relive history while learning about the people and locations that made up Pennsylvania Oil Country, as well as the possibility of seeing a variety of animals along the way such as ducks, deers, groundhogs, bald eagles, blue heron, and even black bear!
The train departs from Perry Street Station on South Perry Street.
Watch a Race at Drake Well BMX
Drake Well BMX on Allen Street has been a mainstay in the local community of Titusville since its foundation in 1979, founded by Rick Hipwell.
Rick worked for Cyclops Steel, the business that donated the property along Allen Street known today as the Ed Myer Complex, home of Drake Well BMX.
Thanks to the efforts of Rick and his son, along with help of other friends, the plan to build a track was approved by the city council.
Races started under the sanction of the Eastern Bicycle Association (EBA).
In 1988, Rick passed away, and in 1989, EBA closed down, but Drake Well BMX stood strong!
It joined the National Bicycle League (NBL) along with other tracks in the area.
Whether you choose to watch or join a race, Drake Well BMX, like any other strategically built and meticulously kept BMX course, is sure to give you a thrilling and awesome experience.
Dine at Titusville Iron Works Taphouse
Come by Titusville Iron Works Tap House, a restaurant, bar, and museum in one!
Titusville Iron Works Tap House is housed in the historic Iron Works building on South Franklin Street.
Founded in 1860, Iron Works was used to manufacture gas engines (JC, Olin, Tico), as well as pump jacks, smokestacks, and other oil field machinery and equipment.
Among the interesting displays is the “Olin” Gas Engine, a four-cycle engine that was one of the first commercial gas engines in the country.
Visit the Titusville Iron Works Taphouse for incredible food, more than 70 varieties of alcoholic drinks, fantastic live music every evening, a piece of history, and a welcoming atmosphere.
Play a Game at Unlock the Adventure Escape Experience
Plan your next adventure and experience the most distinctive and engaging escape rooms in the area at Unlock the Adventure Escape Experience!
Unlock the Adventure Escape Experience raises the bar for quality and immersion with its elaborate sound and lighting in an incredibly realistic setting.
Bring your family or friends along as you search for clues and solve puzzles to complete your quest and win the game!
Each game lasts for 60 minutes, so it’s great value for money!
Every few months, Unlock the Adventure Escape Experience rolls out new games, so there’s always something new to try when you visit.
It is located on West Spring Street.
Spend Leisure Time at Burgess Park
Burgess Park on East Main Street is the city’s oldest community park that offers a variety of amenities including a pond, open-air picnic shelters, a sledding hill, a skate park, a playground, and a splash pad.
One pavilion overlooks the pond and includes electricity and water and can accommodate 70 to 80 people.
The other pavilion, which can accommodate up to 80 people, is an open shelter in the center of the park offering views of the whole landscape.
The Activities Building, a three-sided facility, has electricity, water, a fireplace, and restrooms, with a seating capacity for 80 people.
The Burgess Park Community Splash Pad which opened in 2019, is a kids’ favorite and is open daily including holidays.
Lastly, Burgess Park is the location of the Titusville Community Center which includes the Senior Center with the goal of ensuring that older individuals stay active, healthy, independent, and involved in the activities of the community.
Reserve a Stay at the McMullen House Bed & Breakfast
The McMullen House Bed & Breakfast provides a personal and unique experience of the Pennsylvania Oil Region, offering visitors hospitality and history in the “Valley that Changed the World.”
A grand Italianate villa on East Main Street, the McMullen House was built in 1870 for Celia McMullen, owner of Titusville Iron Works (together with her husband and son-in-law).
Following their deaths, Celia’s husband in 1862 and Celia in 1885, John Stephenson, editor of the Titusville Herald, became the owner of the property.
The house captures the grandeur of the “Oil Boom” era through its design, Victorian decor, and refined lifestyle.
Each room offers a private bathroom and complimentary Wi-Fi, and guests can enjoy a French-style breakfast before going to town or setting out on a trail.
The McMullen House Bed & Breakfast’s native plant gardens, which serve as a habitat for local wildlife, are also open to visitors.
Explore the Queen City Trail (QCT) on foot or by bike to discover Northwestern Pennsylvania’s natural splendor.
The Queen City Trail is a 1.5-mile asphalt trail and a segment of the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail.
Developed by Titusville Leisure Services in 1982, it spans both Crawford and Venango counties, with trail endpoints at the City of Titusville and Township of Oil Creek.
If you want to venture further, you may connect to the 9.7-mile Oil Creek State Park Trail which is also a segment of the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail, located at the Southeastern Trailhead of the QCT.
The Queen City Trail will take you through downtown Titusville where you can explore restaurants for a bite, local breweries for a cold beer, or see historic sites, along with views of Oil Creek, park spaces, and active railways.
Paddle the Oil Creek Water Trail
The Oil Creek Water Trail in Venango, Oil Creek, and Crawford counties was officially established as an official water trail in 2017.
This trail joins a network of 26 flowing waterways in Pennsylvania that offer the public options for paddling, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
The majority of this stunning water trail is on state-owned lands at Drake Well Museum and Park and Oil Creek State Park, passing through Titusville and Oil City.
Public access points are spread throughout the 20-mile stretch including the O’Rourke Baseball Field and Ed Myer Recreation Complex in Titusville.
Paddlers who plan to go on an adventure on Oil Creek Water Trail must practice caution, like checking the water reading using a single water flow gauge, as conditions rapidly change in this watershed.
Chill Out at Orr’s Brewing Company
Orr’s Brewing Company has established a name for itself as the go-to place for handcrafted beer, delicious pizzas, and live entertainment in the area.
A microbrewery and a taproom in one, Orr’s Brewing Company offers over 10 beers on tap, spirits, and wines from local producers in the State, a modest lunch and dinner menu, as well as seasonal offerings, so there’s always something new to try when you visit.
Owners Adam and Kari decided to rise to more challenges of being new parents with full-time jobs by starting a brewery in 2017.
Kari’s expertise in managing her own business for years and Adam’s achievements in home brewing contests made for a wonderful collaboration as they entirely constructed the business from the ground up.
Whatever your tastebuds prefer—hoppy, light, fruity, robust, or anything in between–Orr’s Brewing Company on South Franklin Street has something for you!
Admire the Titusville City Hall
The Titusville City Hall on South Washington Avenue is a two-and-a-half-story Greek Revival building, originally built in 1865 to be used as a private residence.
Shortly after construction was completed, it was sold and transformed into a hotel called the “Bush House.”
The building served as the center for social activities in the city until 1872 when the city acquired it.
It became the Titusville City Hall and has since continued to serve Titusville for more than 140 years.
In 1975, Titusville City Hall was included in the National Register of Historic Places.
Titusville is a small city that takes pride as the site where the modern oil industry was born.
The city awaits you to explore its rich history, captivating stories, stunning natural surroundings, downtown finds, and more.
Whatever your interests, follow this list of the best things to do in Titusville, Pennsylvania, to make your trip worthwhile!